I have received similar comments from other Fed readers in the past in response to articles I have written that may have touched on the subject, so I know that there are employees in a number of Federal agencies who feel they are being bullied.I think the following guidance, adapted from Violence in the Workplace Prevention Guide, published in 2001 by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS), is worth a look whether you are a Federal manager, supervisor, or non-supervisory employee. Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could ‘mentally’ hurt or isolate a person in the workplace.This list is included as a way of showing some of the ways bullying may happen in a workplace.
Bullying, whether via the latest technologies or by more traditional means, is a growing problem in American workplaces of all kinds, and I don’t see why Federal agencies would be exceptions.
In fact, I just received an e-mail from a woman who indicated that she has been bullied so severely in her current job, to include being screamed at in anger by managers and treated with no respect by some of her co-workers, that she felt compelled to tell her story to someone.
A major USA Today article dated November 19, 2008, entitled “Bullying devastates lives,” and chronicled the sad stories of three women who experienced constant bullying in school – one for having red hair, one for being shy, and one for being “different.” The three women, now ranging in age from 28 to 52, continue to be affected by the bullying that they suffered in school.
According to Daniel Nelson, medical director of the Child Psychology Unit at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, “…there’s no question that ‘unrelenting,’ daily hostilities that maybe escalate to threats or actual aggression can be on par with torture…,” or that ” repeated and severe bullying can cause psychological trauma.” Nelson went on to observe that “There’s no question that bullying in certain instances can be absolutely devastating.” A companion article talked about a high school girl whose epileptic seizures – of all things!
I would advise managers and supervisors to start by examining their own behavior – soliciting feedback from trusted colleagues might be part of the process – to make sure they are not engaging in any bullying of their own, however inadvertent. Tags: Fed Smith, Oppermann This entry was posted on Monday, May 4th, 2009 at pm and is filed under Bullying & Health, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI in the News.